She who invented words, and yet does not speak; she who brings dreams and visions, yet does not sleep; she who swallows the storm, yet knows nothing of rain or wind. I speak for her; I am her own.― Catherynne M. Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden
So have you read The Orphan’s Tales? No? So think A Thousand and One Nights told from the viewpoint of I’d guess a teenage girl spiralling out to encompass myriad other storytellers telling their tales, all interconnected into one Story. Each Story piece is short, sometimes only a paragraph and certainly no more than a few pages at the most. Absolutely delicious to dip into for a few minutes or get lost for hours on end. I’ve got both of them here behind the Bar and have been known when the Pub is quiet to pull one of them out and read a narrative thread until I’m needed again.
Want a flavour of them? Well SJ Tucker recorded ‘The Girl in the Garden’ which is off her most excellent Sirens album which sets the premise up, and I think that there’s a short tale from them on the Infinite Jukebox… Yes there’s it is, ‘The Tale of The Tea Maker and The Shoe Maker’ so that should whet your appetite. Our reviews of the two volumes are here and over here.
Of course this Edition contains lots of other neat stuff for you as well from a history of Jethro Tull and music from the band too, YA from Kage Baker, Easter chocolate, bulldogs, baked eggs, Irish music, even stories from Poul Anderson. With that, I’ll take your leave for now.
Chuck has a book for you that’s very popular to take out from the Library here at Kinrowan Estate: ‘Ciaran Carson is an Irish poet and musician, who has, in Last Night’s Fun, put together a series of writings, each inspired by a traditional tune. In most cases, these are short essays. For others, he has written poetry or put together sets of quotations. Occasionally the subjects in consecutive chapters are directly related, but that is most likely happenstance.’
Kate has a look-see at Jethro Tull: A History of the Band, 1968-2001: ‘Scott Allen Nollen has proven his devotion as a Tull fan in the countless miles travelled and the hours passed collecting details and interviewing band members and other associates. He has included nostalgic pictures of the band, some of which were borrowed from Ian Anderson, the often frenzied flautist who, despite some controversy, became the Fagin-like front man for the band. After ten long years of research, here is a comprehensive and entertaining story of the much misunderstood Jethro Tull. The authenticity is underlined by the thoughtful and honest foreword written by Ian Anderson himself.’
Matthew looks at a Kage Baker venture into children’s fiction: ‘In comparison to her other works,’ says he, ‘I would consider The Hotel under the Sand to be one of Kage Baker’s lesser works, but it is still highly enjoyable.’
We have another first from Robert — well, sort of: A collection of stories from the late Poul Anderson: ‘At long last, someone has begun the monumental task of issuing the late Poul Anderson’s classic stories of the Polesotechnic League in internal chronological order. Hank Davis, who compiled this volume (there are three volumes in total), has expanded the timeline to include some League prehistory and the series is being called The Technic Civilization Saga. Anderson was one of the luminaries of the Golden Age of science fiction, and his stories of the League rank with Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy series and Heinlein’s Future History as landmarks in the field.’
Remember when you could eat anything? Under certain circumstances we all have the digestions of teenagers, even now. Such as when that April storm blows through, leaving the world coated in ice, every twig and windshield glittering in the ironical sun, and let me tell you, it’s not a good idea to pour the kettle on that windshield. It’ll shatter. But a baked egg can set you up to walk out into that slippery, glittering world, chip your windshield clear, maybe snap a few pix for Instagram, and know in your heart that Spring is on the way.
Denise dives into the holiday spirit with a look at Specially Selected’s Chocolate Truffle Eggs and Choceur’s Dark Chocolate Marzipan Mini Eggs. One she enjoyed, one she…tolerated. How to figure out which is which? Well that’s easy; just read her reviews to see what you may want to include in your basket!
Big Earl says of Ånon that ‘Ånon Egeland is a master of the mighty hardanger fiddle (a violin with drone strings). As a collector of traditional songs from his area, Egeland is noted for keeping the traditions of the north alive. On this, his first solo album of his twenty-plus year career, he brings forth a beautiful collection of dances from Sweden and Norway, some learnt from the great masters of the idiom.’
Got a Tull fan on your Birthday shopping list? Oh does Chris have a suggestion for you: ‘Did I really need a box set of an album, when I already had an LP, cassette tape, and, as in the case of Aqualung, the 25th anniversary CD? However, I found myself tempted by Songs from the Wood, a personal favorite album of mine, and decided to take my chances with it, and the reissue of Heavy Horses. I wasn’t disappointed.’
‘You know it’s true love when a Swede compares you to coffee, right?’ That’s what Gary says about Wooh Dang, the new Americana release by Daniel Norgren.
Robert picked Tummel’s Payback Time as his recommended recording this outing: ‘Think about the band playing on while the Titanic goes down. Think of some of Joel Gray’s bitchier numbers in Cabaret. Think of Josephine Baker at her most outrageous taking Paris by storm. Think of a bunch of crazy Swedes with no inhibitions whatsoever getting together and letting everyone have it, right between the eyes. That might give an inkling of the tone of Tummel’s Payback Time.’
With Spring officially sprung, more and more people are enjoying the out-of-doors. And many are doing that with a furry friend. Today, on National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day, it bears mentioning that these stout little bringers of happiness come in many forms. From Frenchies to Olde English, Cataholula to Continental, there’s surely a bully pup or twelve that’ll make you swoon. You know they’re good for your heart, right? Check out these little bebbes, and enjoy a lovely bit of Bulldog time. That feels better now, doesn’t it?
I’m a Tull fan from days on old when Ian successfully bludgeoned rock and folk music into one art form. So I got thinking about what might be on the Infinite Jukebox and to my delight I discovered it had ‘The Hunting Girl’ in which boy meets girl on horse and they get down in the dirt for a good fucking. Even the lyrics make that clear (‘She took this simple man’s downfall in hand; I raised the flag that she unfurled) and Ian’s Flute playing adds a sexual urgency to the song. This version was recorded on the 12th of November, forty years ago at the LA Sports Arena.